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This College Is Offering a Class on Anthony Bourdain (But You Don’t Have to Go There to Take It)

Anthony Bourdain‘s legacy lives on in the classroom.

Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana is offering a course about the chef, who died by suicide in June, in their spring semester.

The class, according to a course summary posted on Twitter by professor Todd Kennedy, will include lessons about both Bourdain’s writings and TV shows and the “writings and films that influenced him.”

“What he did is so unique,” Todd Kennedy tells PEOPLE. “We talk about connections between literature and film and art and politics and history, but we’re always trained to talk about them separately. He goes all in and puts all those things, along with food, in conversation to try to understand the culture he’s looking at. And that speaks to people.”

RELATED: Why Anthony Bourdain’s Final Narration in Parts Unknown Is So ‘Uncanny’, According to Director

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Kennedy says that Bourdain’s death allowed him to reevaluate what he really liked about the celebrity chef, prompting the class. One of the most surprising facets he learned was how much of Bourdain’s work was inspired by classic film and literature.

“I picked up on a lot of the references,” Kennedy says. “But I wasn’t quite aware how pervasive it was. Quite often, he picked locations after he picked the movie. He was so committed, that’s how he approached a lot of his travel.”

Audiences hungry for a class about Bourdain don’t need to travel to Parts Unknown. The college will also be offering an online, accelerated version of the course.

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Kennedy tells PEOPLE that the online course makes it easier for students at other universities to get credit for taking the class. While the course is listed as a literature class, it may also become a space for aspiring chefs to pay homage to the late personality.

“One of the reasons we thought about this class is because we have a large culinary arts program at Nicholls,” he says. “We thought it would be an interesting elective for some of those students.”

RELATED: An Anthony Bourdain Documentary Is in the Works

Those interested will need to act fast if they want to enroll. “So, it’s happening. For real,” Kennedy wrote on Twitter. “And I doubt they ever let me do it again.”

The twelfth and final season of the Emmy-winning TV series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET on CNN.


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Colin Kaepernick’s attorney hints quarterback could sign soon: ‘Next week, there may be some news’

Is Colin Kaepernick really close to signing with a team? At least one person close to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick believes the quarterback will play in the National Football League again. When asked whether he thinks Kaepernick will play again this season, Geragos responds with, “I would just say stay tuned.

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Bell’s hell: There are no winners in RB’s holdout

Le'Veon Bell has even angered his teammates now, which means there's no way his contract situation concludes without some hurt feelings.

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Aretha Franklin’s funeral: Stars who’ll be there

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Could there be life? 12-mile liquid water lake found on Mars

The first large, stable mass of liquid water has been detected on Mars – boosting the chance of one day finding life on the planet.
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There is a war brewing between Lonzo Ball and the Lakers

With each leak, the foundation of Lonzo Ball and the Lakers’ relationship seems to weaken. It is no secret that Ball and his ever-volatile father, LaVar, were determined to have him get drafted by the Lakers and build their legacy there. Ball had a respectable rookie season for the Lakers when healthy, but with LeBron James in Los Angeles and in need of another star, Ball’s future there is as precarious as ever. The Lakers have been in talks with the Spurs for the disgruntled Kawhi Leonard, but the Spurs seem more enamored with Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and future draft picks than they do Ball. Any chance of Ball being included in that trade, however, seemed to end when it was reported

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Why Are There So Many Robocalls? Here’s What You Can Do About Them

Remember when phone calls meant people wanted to talk to you? When your phone rings these days, it’s often a robocall. Here’s what to do when you get one, and how to get fewer of them.
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Missing Woman’s Remains Found Burned in S.C. Home — and Brothers Who Lived There Are Charged

Two brothers face multiple charges after the charred remains of a South Carolina woman who had not been seen all month were found last Friday in their home, PEOPLE confirms.

Stacy Davidson Carmack’s burned body was found in the home of brothers Charles Alexander Dogan and Tony Nolan Dogan by investigators last Friday, a Greenville County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

Carmack, 45, was reported missing on June 13, WSPA reports. She was last seen on the same road as the Dorgan’s residence on May 28 or 29, according to a sheriff’s office news release obtained by PEOPLE.

On Friday, deputies went to the Dogan’s residence to collect forensic evidence in Carmack’s disappearance. During their search, investigators discovered Carmack’s remains, which had been burned.

On Monday, the brothers were taken into custody.

Charles Dogan, 60, has been charged with desecration of human remains, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice while Tony Dogan, 52, has been charged with criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice for his alleged involvement in the case, according to the spokesperson.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. 

Charles Dogan is accused of burning Carmack’s body and taking “steps to conceal death from investigators by providing misleading statements hampering the investigation,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE.

He is being held at the Greenville County Detention Center on a $ 30,000 bond, according to jail records.

Tony Dogan’s bond was set at $ 15,000, according to jail records. He will be held under house arrest with a GPS monitor, Fox Carolina reports.

Carmack’s cause of death is still under investigation.

It is unclear whether Charles Dogan or Tony Dogan have attorneys. They have not yet entered pleas.


PEOPLE.com

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Anthony Bourdain Died of Suicide by Hanging and There Are No Signs of Foul Play, Prosecutor Says

Anthony BourdainMore details have emerged about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.
CNN had reported on Friday that the famed 61-year-old chef and host of the cable network’s food-and-travel-themed show …

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Andy Spade on Kate Spade’s Death: ‘There Was No Indication and No Warning’

Andy Spade said that his wife had been seeking treatment for serious depression for six years.
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Books of The Times: ‘There There’ is an Energetic Revelation of a Corner of American Life

Tommy Orange’s debut novel follows 12 Native American characters toward a fateful powwow in Oakland, Calif.
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Profile: With ‘There There,’ Tommy Orange Has Written a New Kind of American Epic

Mr. Orange is part of a generation of young indigenous writers who are redefining the native canon.
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Holy Matrimony! There Was A Proposal At The Met Gala.

2 Chainz proposed to his lady love Kesha Ward. Again!
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with …: David Duchovny’s Truth Is Out There, Between Covers

A third novel by the actor known for “The X-Files,” “Californication”— and dad rock.
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‘It’s all good. I’ll show ’em when I get there’

Too raw? Inaccurate? Would make a better wide receiver? Lamar Jackson has heard it all, and he's here to tell the so-called experts that they're way off base.

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Profile: ‘In Italy, There Was the Pope and Then There Was Enzo Ferrari’

A biography of the legendary Italian carmaker shines a light on the man and the automotive empire he built.
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Couple Gets Married At Hospital So Their Baby Could Be There Too

“The original plan was that she was going to be at the wedding anyway. We didn’t let the fact that she was born premature stop that from happening.”
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Riverdale Takes On Carrie: The Musical and Yes There Will Be Blood

RiverdaleTonight, the cast of Riverdale shows off their pipes.
Riverdale High is about to put on its spring musical performance of Carrie, and it’s en episode unlike any other…in most ways….

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In need of a third QB, is there a better option for Pats than Johnny Manziel?

Is Manziel too risky for the Patriots to consider? What spots should they focus on in the draft? Mike Reiss provides answers.
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Essay: Before #MeToo, There Was Catharine A. MacKinnon and Her Book ‘Sexual Harassment of Working Women’

Why did it take nearly four decades for the world to realize that she was right?
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Rise Stars Talk Taking Over This Is Us’ Time Slot: “There Is a Little Bit of Pressure”

RiseRise may be debuting immediately after the highly-anticipated This Is Us season two finale, but next week, the new drama takes the beloved hit’s spot in NBC’s line-up. And for some of its…

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Power Rankings: Is there cause for ‘alarm’ in Tampa Bay?

Why is Steven Stamkos worried? Will Vegas strike more gold at the trade deadline? Is Predators goalie Pekka Rinne making a convincing case for the Vezina? There are plenty of pressing questions among this week’s ranks.
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Priyanka Chopra on Meghan Markle Bridesmaid Rumors: “If You See Me There, You’ll Know”

Priyanka Chopra, Harper's BazaarMeghan Markle and Priyanka Chopra are friends, but will the Quantico star serve as a bridesmaid in Markle and Prince Harry’s upcoming wedding?
Chopra addressed the question in a new…

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Could there be a second Hollywood sign?

How do you solve a problem like traffic congestion around the Hollywood sign? You build another one.
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It’s Amazon’s World—But Do You Want to Live There?

A reporter spent a week using products and services from Amazon.com Inc. and its partners almost exclusively and wondered: If you can buy everything from car parts to cleaning services to caviar in one online marketplace, will you miss shopping everywhere else?
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Turns out there are no answers for LeBron without Kyrie

Kyrie Irving isn’t the only beneficiary of the summer’s most-talked-about breakup, which has unlocked a version of LeBron James the NBA hasn’t witnessed in years.
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Keith Urban Is So “Glad” Nicole Kidman Was There to Help Him at 2017 American Music Awards

Keith Urban, Winners, American Music Awards 2017, AMAsKeith Urban was a big winner at the 2017 American Music Awards!
The 50-year-old singer won three awards during Sunday’s show in Los Angeles. When it was announced he won Favorite Male…

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iPhone X Review: Yes, There Are Reasons to Pay Apple $1,000

Apple’s iPhone X breaks the $ 1,000 price barrier but gives you plenty of reasons to want it anyway.
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Beyonce’s Out There Making Corset Pants Happen

Pretty Hurts, right?
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Bella Hadid Doesn’t See a Reason to Be Competitive With Sister Gigi: “There Are Enough Jobs in the World”

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There Is An Actual Photo Of Blake Shelton Printed On Gwen Stefani’s Sneakers

Talk about fancy footwork.
Fashion News, Celebrity Style and Fashion Trends – HuffPost Style
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There Were A Lot Of Vulvas Showing At Namilia’s New York Fashion Week Show

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There Might Be a Way to Learn New Stuff While You Sleep

No more time wasted.

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Is there such a thing as too much TV?

A network boss has again warned of the dangers of “too much TV”, but is the industry really suffering from a glut?
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Van Dyke apology: Were there worse UK accents on film?

Dick Van Dyke said sorry for his “atrocious” British accent in Mary Poppins, but has there been worse?
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Someone Found a Teen’s Summer Bucket List and the Internet Took It From There

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Social Q’s: You Can’t Fight City Hall, Nor Fight About a Wedding There

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There Might Be a Cure for Baldness By the Time You Go Completely Bald

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This Couple Loves Cheesecake Factory So Much They Took Engagement Pics There

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What Celebrity Surrogacy Is Really Like from One Mom Who’s Been There: ‘It Was Never About Money’

As Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West consider a surrogate pregnancy, a woman who has been a surrogate says the journey to match any parent or parents with a woman who will carry a child and then give it up to them is filled with emotion on both sides.

“I hoped for everything I got,” two-time surrogate Dayna, 37, a stay-at-home Pennsylvania mom, tells PEOPLE, which is withholding her last name. “I didn’t want it to be a business transaction. I didn’t want it to feel like that.”

“It was never about money,” she says. “I wanted it to be personal. I wanted to get enjoyment like I did out of it. I was giving someone something that potentially they couldn’t get without someone like us.”

In April, Dayna delivered the second of two children that she carried for parents Jonathan Rollo and Joey Gonzalez, through a match overseen by the California-based agency Growing Generations. The couple welcomed a daughter, Francesca, now 18 months old, in December 2015; their son, Jake, is two months old. Both were conceived using anonymous donor eggs selected from a catalogue listing and then fertilized by the men and implanted in Dayna’s uterus.

“I personally didn’t feel any separation process,” Dayna says of the time after Francesca was born. “There was no grief, there was no mourning, there was no sadness. It was a pretty amazing feeling, just to see Jon’s and Joey’s faces when she was born, and them holding her for the first time. They were literally just glowing.”

17Kardashian West and her husband are already parents to 4-year-old daughter North and 18-month-old son Saint. But in planning for a third child, they recently hired a surrogate, PEOPLE confirms. Doctors had cautioned Kardashian West that another pregnancy would be risky because she suffers from a condition, placenta accreta, that causes the placenta to grow into the wall of the womb, thus making it hard to detach at the time of birth.

The 36-year-old reality star underwent a procedure to try and correct the condition. But she told her mother, Kris Jenner, on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, “I’ve come to the conclusion in my mind that I can’t carry another one. So now I want to explore surrogacy.”

Dayna, a mother of five children ages 7 to 20, decided to become a surrogate after a long consideration that involved her husband and their family; the couple welcomed two biological children and parented several foster children, adopting three, before choosing not to have any more.

But after seeing “so many people out there in need and just having that want and desire for their own biological children,” Dayna says she viewed surrogacy as her way to contribute further. “My pregnancies have always been easy,” she says. “After doing tons of research, it just felt right. It felt like something I wanted to do.”

Before going forward, she also allowed her kids a vote. “Is this going to be okay?” she asked. “This is not going to be your sibling at all. I’m just going to carry a baby for someone who can’t carry a baby.”

Their response? “They were all on board.”

A friend of hers had been a surrogate through Growing Generations, and Dayna reached out to the company, which does not advertise for surrogates but accepts online applications. Just 10 percent meet initial qualifications; only 1 or 2 percent of those advance for final consideration in a review that includes background checks, medical tests, and psychological evaluations. Among questions posed: Are you willing to work with single parents? Gay parents? Interracial couples?

“It was multiple applications,” says Dayna. “At that point, they pretty much interviewed you: Why do you want to become a surrogate? What do you hope to get out of it? Have you talked to your family about it? They do have a lot of requirements, which I feel are necessary.”

Founded in 1996, Growing Generations has overseen more than 1,500 births delivered via 1,200 surrogates, says Stuart Bell, the agency’s co-founder. Its client base is divided evenly between U.S. and international parents. Ninety percent of them are couples, and 60 percent of them are gay. (The agency is not working with Kardashian West.)

“Twenty years ago, infertility was such a cross to bear,” Bell told PEOPLE in 2015. “There was kind of this shame around ‘I can’t have a baby.’” Although surrogacy and surrogate contracts still generate legal and political debate in parts of the country, “they’re starting to understand that it’s not harming anyone involved,” Bell says. “This is something that’s building families in a positive way.”

It’s also costly. For a person or couple opting to use their own egg, Growing Generations tells them to budget $ 120,000 to $ 140,000 for the process; if a donor egg is used, the expense can climb to $ 150,000 to $ 200,000.

Costs include the egg donor fee of $ 15,000 to $ 16,000; the surrogate fee of around $ 35,000; the expense to create and implant embryos; allowances for the surrogate’s maternity clothing, travel and medical monitoring; and legal and insurance fees, all on top of the agency’s matching fees.

“When you say you’re going to be a surrogate, the first thing anybody asks is, how much money are you making?” says Dayna. Growing Generations ensures that surrogates are financially secure before taking on the responsibility, she adds. “The money is not worth what you’re putting your body through. You really need to be honest with yourself. This is something that you want to do for the right reasons.”

Once approved, Dayna received a packet with information about Gonzalez and Rollo — not detailed, but with photos, ages, how long they’d been together, and images showing them with family and friends.

Then she and her husband had a preliminary meeting over lunch with Gonzalez, the CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp, an international fitness boutique concept, and Rollo, a chef, owner and founder of Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, a chain of organic restaurants.

“We wanted somebody who has been through childbirth,” Gonzalez told PEOPLE, which earlier profiled the couple and their surrogacy process. “Our preference was for someone who has been through it more than once, psychologically secure, who could go through this process of separating from a child. That’s obviously not an easy thing to do. We both wanted somebody incredibly maternal, somebody that we thought respected the process.”

“When they presented Dayna,” he says, “it was the best-case scenario. She’s the most maternal person I’ve ever met. She’s just an exceptionally sweet, loving person. You can tell that family is a huge priority for her.”

Twenty-four hours after that meeting, each side sent word to the other through the agency: They agreed it was a match.

The two men and Dayna kept in constant touch through that first pregnancy via texts, calls and occasional in-person visits. Gonzalez and Rollo always talked of having more than one child. As they gathered for the first induced delivery and drove with Dayna to the hospital, “We were actually talking about the second one already,” Dayna recalls with a laugh. “I remember Joey’s mom saying, ‘Can we just have this one first?’”

“I planned on the first time being only a one-and-done thing, but the relationship I had with the guys, I knew instantly I would never be a surrogate for multiple families,” she says. After three months of pumping breast milk for Francesca, then freezing and shipping it overnight to Gonzalez and Rollo in California, she allowed her body to rest for a few months before starting the process for the second child. The dads were present at both births.

Today, “ loves seeing pictures of our babies, as much as we love hearing stories about her kids,” Gonzalez writes in an email. “Even if weeks go by without hearing from her, it’s easy to pick up where we left off. Sharing something this deep bonds people for life.”

“Honestly, there is no way to have assurance the surrogate will do things your way,” he says. “Which is why the process is so important. Be honest with each other about what matters most, and have trust that she will honor and respect that.”

He adds: “Don’t stress out if the first few meetings are awkward — it’s not the most natural relationship on earth and takes time to develop.”

But even as she values that relationship, Dayna says she’s not decided whether to be a surrogate again.

“I’m not getting any younger,” she jokes. “This one just really took a lot out of me. And I’ve got to think about my own kids. We hike a lot, we camp a lot; it’s hard to do those things when you’re pregnant.”

She does know, however, she has lifelong friends in the men whose family she helped to grow.

“I think the more you’re involved, the more you know what’s going on with the pregnancy, the more you can relate,” she advises those who may be considering using a surrogate. “You hope there are check-in points that they’re interested in, like, ‘What was the baby’s heart rate at the doctor’s today?’ because that just builds the excitement.”

“They don’t have to keep in touch,” she says of the two sides of the transaction. “Once they have that child, that can potentially be the end of the relationship, and I don’t think a lot of people prepare themselves for that. You need to prepare.”

She heard all throughout her process about how awful things can be between parents and their surrogates. But she, Gonzalez and Rollo all praise their match.

“I’m told all the time that we have a special relationship,” she says. “So I’m thankful very much for that.”

“I got everything that I wanted, and possibly more, when I went into this. To see the pictures of the guys with Jake and Francesca, and them living their lives, and all their pictures that they share, it’s amazing,” she says. “I helped create that.”


PEOPLE.com

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This Small Italian Village Will Pay You Over $2,000 to Move There

See you there?

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This Rap Is The Perfect Anthem For All The Dog Moms Out There

Dog moms, we’ve found your summer jam. 

In a viral video created by dog product subscription service Bark Box, two proud doggo moms  ― MCs T-Spoon and ZZtophalf ― spit some lines about what it means to be a true provider for your pup. Some choice lyrics? 

“Went to the vet ‘cause her poop was volcanic // We put her on a diet now that shit is organic.” 

Boom, mic drop.

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Is there life on one of Saturn’s moons?

An environment that some scientists believe led to life on Earth has been found on Saturn’s ocean-bearing moon Enceladus, NASA scientists have said.
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Can there still be a happy ending for the Seahawks and Richard Sherman?

Can there still be a happy ending for the Seahawks and Richard Sherman?
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There Is Coconut Everywhere

The sweet, pulpy fruit is now on every grocery shelf as consumers lap up healthy fats and plant foods. It is made into water, milk, flour for baking, oil for cooking and transformed into snack chips.
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Malone to sitting stars: ‘Get your ass out there’ (Yahoo Sports)

Malone to sitting stars: 'Get your ass out there'

The Cavs and Warriors have drawn scrutiny for sitting their stars in primetime games, and Hall of Famer Karl Malone isn’t happy.



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Is There an Unfair Advantage on This Season of Dancing With the Stars?

Dancing With the Stars Season 24, DWTSHeather Morris might be dancing to the beat of her own controversy.
When the Glee alum was announced as a cast member of the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, fans and viewers…

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Harvard Scientists Think There Might Be Evidence of Alien Space Travel

Where else would these mysterious flashes of radio waves be coming from?

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#WhiteHouseScentedCandles Prove That Something In There Sure Smells

Something foul has taken hold of the White House this year. Do you smell it? Can’t quite pinpoint the exact odor. 

So we let Twitter do it for us! For this week’s HuffPost Comedy hashtag game, we asked the Twitterverse to come up with names for #WhiteHouseScentedCandles.

Their olfactory systems couldn’t wait.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Pushing The Envelope, Book VIII: Be There

Pushing The Envelope, Book VIII: Be There


The sequel to Amber Allures Best Seller Pushing The Envelope: Yours Sincerely. In his last note, Scott offered Joe exactly the kind of scene in which he loves to partake. Now, it seems only fair that Joe takes the other man on the kind of date hed be sure to love in return. A fancy restaurant, outfits that dont contain any leather outside of a belt and a pair of shoes, a night spent surrounded by the kind of people who might not even like seeing two men together, let alone seeing them enjoying their kinks. So what could possibly go wrong? Joes ordered Scott to be there. All he can do now is hope he manages to survive a night in his own idea of vanilla-flavoured purgatory. NOTE: Dont miss the next installment in the series, Pushing The Envelope, Book IX: By Hand.

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This Cheesy Chorizo Dip Will Be There to Console You If Your Team Loses

This football season, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their favorite tailgating experts to share great game-day recipes for an even greater cause.  Join these chefs in raising awareness and funds for hunger relief across the country by taking the Kick Hunger Challenge with your favorite football team and making a donation to their local food bank. And be sure to check PEOPLE.com every Thursday for a new game day recipe from your favorite celebrity chefs. Here, Aarón Sánchez, Chef/Partner of Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, shares his recipe for his Chile Con Queso and Chorizo. 

I love cooking around game day, and there are quite a few really fun stories that have come out of our festivities, but I think there is one instance that stands out to me the most.

It is a fond memory of mine where we were cooking with a bunch of my chef colleagues in the New York Giants parking lot one day. They happened to be playing against the New Orleans Saints, who are my favorite NFL team, especially now that I live in New Orleans. Everyone was crowded around tailgating and having a great time eating and drinking. We were making Cajun food in the parking lot in New Jersey, frying beignets and making gumbo, serving crawfish, making new friends through food—all in enemy territory.

That is one of the truly beautiful things about cooking, it is so unifying; it didn’t matter which team you were there to support, we all have to eat.

For more exclusive tailgating recipes, follow People Food on Facebook.

WATCH THIS: Take 5: Five-Ingredient French Onion Soup-Stuffed Patty Melts

Chile Con Queso and Chorizo Dip

Serves 4

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2  oz. pork chorizo
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 Anaheim chiles, seeded and diced
1 12-oz. package Oaxaca cheese, shredded or cubed
4 oz. manchego cheese, shredded
½ cup milk
Tortilla chips

1. Fry the onions in olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes to soften.
2. Stir in the chorizo, tomatoes and chiles and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more until the chorizo is cooked.
3. Add cheeses and milk and stir the mixture together until melted and smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Take off the heat, transfer to a serving bowl and serve with tortilla chips.


PEOPLE.com

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Watch Chrissy Teigen Get Physical For Fries In Barely There Bodysuit

And on the 16th day of December, Chrissy Teigen blessed us with our new favorite workout video, all in the name of junk food and wine. 

Every year, Love magazine counts down to Dec. 25 with a video advent calendar featuring the Instafamous and and some actual celebs doing super     ~ artsy ~ things

Now, it’s Teigen’s turn to strut her stuff for an ‘80s-inspired video in which she shows some serious skin wearing a tight blue bodysuit, a red headband and wristbands and, duh, leg warmers.

We knew the model-turned-TV-host had a passion for culinary delights, but who knew she’d go this far?!

BRB, we finally found something to do at the gym. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Here’s a Really Good Reason to Go Au Naturale Down There

We did not see this one coming.

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Is There a Cure for Cancer Waiting in Cuba?

Life-saving news from the lifted embargo.

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I Was There: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Election Night Party — Without the Guest of Honor

They arrived wearing their red, white, and Hillary Clinton finest: sweaters with their candidate’s name woven into the nap, custom painted “Nasty Woman” leather jackets, yards of sequins that reflected the excitement felt all around. The supporters who came to New York City’s Javits Convention Center were ready for a party on Election Night.

Unfortunately, the party never happened.

Actress Debra Messing had on comfy-looking bright red sneakers — she was in it for the long haul. Scores of young women wore “staff” badges — though many of them were volunteers. Two little girls showed up with their family wearing “Madam President” buttons and with their faces painted red and blue; bravehearts indeed.

With some early Tuesday predictors estimating that Clinton had upwards of an 85 percent chance to become the first female U.S. President, it seemed likely there was an equal chance of showers from the confetti cannons stationed on either side of the main floor where the Democratic candidate was expected to speak.

Two days earlier, the venue was mostly quiet, save for some campaign staff handing out press credentials. I showed up late in the afternoon on Sunday, and with the shift to daylight savings time (really? An extra hour of this election?) the windowed convention center near the Hudson River was aglow in the sunset. It was impossible to miss the symbolism: That was some big glass ceiling.

By 6 p.m. on Tuesday, blocks of 11th Avenue were cordoned off by police and filled with Clinton fans who would be treated to a show by Katy Perry, and speeches from local Democrats. In between acts, election returns came up on the big screens stationed around the space and outdoors. Connecticut goes for Clinton: Cheers! New Mexico: Cheers!

Having taken to heart the “Don’t boo—vote!” directive from President Obama, there was little in the way of jeering when Donald Trump voters turned a state red; instead it just got quiet. Kentucky. Georgia. Indiana. No big deal, people reminded one another, those are usually Republican states. Here, let’s take a selfie with Mayor Bill DeBlasio in the background.

Then Virginia, Tim Kaine’s home state, was teetering. (It eventually went blue.) And Florida. And people began having the Florida flashbacks: “It reminds me a lot of Gore-Bush,” said a woman from the Virgin Islands. “We all went to bed that night thinking Gore had won and woke up and Bush had won. So I’m not giving up hope.”

Her friend, wearing a ‘HillYeah’ button on her hat, added, “I think we thought she would have been ahead more at this stage.”


Small groups gathered around the TV monitors in the basement cafeteria. There was a run on pasta and beer.

“It is definitely nerve-wracking,” said a supporter from Connecticut, smiling insistently. Moments before she had told me, “The energy is fantastic,” and she seemed to be sticking to that. Her friend wasn’t so sure. Maybe they should think about driving home? “I want to see history being made and I’m afraid if I leave I’ll regret it if she does win.”

The night wore on. The cafeteria closed. The beer bottles emptied, the starchy comfort food consumed. The TV monitors continued to bleed red. The young women volunteers were rotating in and out of the ladies’ room, eyes red.

The faithful were trying to hold on to hope, but it wasn’t easy.

A New York supporter whose daughter was about the age of these campaign workers told me, “My heart is hanging on every word here. I’m on the verge of tears. I’m so upset right now. I have a 20-year-old daughter in college, and I just feel if he gets to be president … It’s all over. It’s just … nothing.”

A rumor circulated after midnight that the venue had to be cleared out by 2 a.m. Suddenly it was after 1 a.m., and the dais remained empty. The crowds were still, well, crowded. And they did what crowds do: They huddled, goofed for the cameras when turned on them, and sang along to the piped-in music.

By 1:30 a.m. or so, two things happened: we began to hear that Secretary Clinton would not speak tonight, but instead would send campaign chairman John Podesta, as at least three states were still too close to call.

The PA system blared what is usually a party-pleaser: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” On the screen the crowd saw itself reflected, and gamely joined in with Steve Perry’s vocals: “Don’t stop believing, hold on to that fe-eee-lin’. ” Was anyone else thinking about what these words mean? Did anyone else feel that this was as final as the Sopranos finale that had used the song before cutting to black?

Though the big screens, still on closed circuit, didn’t announce it in the moment, Pennsylvania was called for Trump, effectively giving him the win. Podesta took the stage, told us all to go home and get some sleep. There would be more in the morning.

And there was: About eight hours later, the candidate finally spoke. But the party was over, and her supporters — many more than had been at that windowed convention center — gathered in our shared virtual space to hear the first woman to win the popular vote for United States president offer her apologies for not winning the election. “This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for,” said Sec. Clinton. “And I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.”

No, this was not the outcome that those who had traveled to the Javits Center had wanted.

I listened to the worries, and tears, and frustrations of supporters as they filed out into the New York City night, past a street vendor with a keen market sense selling Hillary T-shirts marked down to $ 5. I didn’t hear anyone asking for their candidate’s apology. There were practical matters to attend to: Would Uber be able to get through the police barricades? Is the subway okay to take at 3 a.m.?

I took a last look at the building, still lit, and that glass ceiling still frustratingly untouched.


PEOPLE.com

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Here a Face, There a Face

Here a Face, There a Face


Author/photographer Arlene Alda has produced yet another brilliantly simple rhyming safari – this time in search of faces in unusual places. These faces are found on buildings, in trees, mailboxes, and fountains. Coy, funny, grumpy, comical, or sad, they are almost anywhere a child’s imagination wants to go. Whimsical text heightens the search and helps us find the unusual characters who are quietly gathered all around us. Alda’s unique through-the-lens perceptions will launch young children on a visual adventure that just might be hard to return from. The easy-to-read text and trampe d’oeil photos make Here a Face, There a Face perfect for the young or young at heart. This is Arlene Alda’s third, and perhaps her most clever photographic essay. Look for The Book of ZZZs and Did You Say Pears? From the Hardcover edition.

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Hanes Silk Reflections Sandalfoot Pantyhose A/B Barely there

Hanes Silk Reflections Sandalfoot Pantyhose A/B Barely there


Hanes Silk Reflections Sandalfoot Pantyhose A/B Barely there

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Thank You Card for a Father for Being There to listen Greeting Card

Thank You Card for a Father for Being There to listen Greeting Card


7 x 5 Paper Greeting Card
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The Most Absurd, Ridiculous “Becky With the Good Hair” Conspiracy Theories Out There

Lori Loughlin, Aunt Becky, Full HouseAfter Beyoncé dropped her sixth studio album onto the world and thus changed the timeline of humanity to B.L. (before Lemonade) and A.L. (after Lemonade), the first thing people did was pour…

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For a Few Brief Hours There, Game of Thrones Was More Popular Than Porn

Including GOT-related porn. ​

Lifestyle – Esquire

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There and Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter

There and Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter


This collection offers two dozen essays and sketches about one of the passions of Salter’s life-travel-a subject beloved by writers across the centuries. Over twenty years of skiing, hiking, climbing from Colorado to Japan to the Tyrol, from Austria and Switzerland to Germany and France, Salter is an engaging companion sharing his great enthusiasm and adventures.James Salter’s novels and volumes of memoir have been widely celebrated and he is now recognized as one of America’s most important writers.
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It’s an Alligator-Eat-Alligator World Down There in Florida

The most grisly video you’ll watch today.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Yes, There Is a Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Coming in 2017

The next-generation 2017 Wrangler will finally include a pickup truck variant, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed.​

Lifestyle – Esquire

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There Could Be a Way to Cook Meat That Helps Prevent Cancer

Keep your bacon from killing you.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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You Can Get There from Here: Hiking Hunterdon County Trails

You Can Get There from Here: Hiking Hunterdon County Trails


What are you looking for in a hiking trail — a place to reflect, a place to engage friends for lively conversation and debate, a place to spend quality family time . . . Whatever you seek in a hiking trail, it is right here among the trails within Hunterdon County. Our trails offer a wide variety of distances, hiking levels and scenic views. Sunnyside near the 9-11 Memorial is an ideal place to think, listen to the river and reflect. The Columbia Trail is well used and a great place to share a walk and talk with friends. The Arboretum and Deer Path Park offer an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with the family. Whatever you are looking for, the trails within Hunterdon County can support your hiking needs. We have discovered many of the beautiful, hidden places our County has to offer. We hope this book will pique your interest and passion and move you to discover these treasures for yourself and to share them with others who are seeking health and fitness for themselves, their friends or their families.
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There is Nothing Dead in This Grandiose Former Funeral Establishment of the City of Paris.

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Art Galore.

The 104, as it is called, spelled out in French as Le Centquatre-Paris, is a multimedia art center partly funded by the city of Paris. Located in a vast compound of gigantic halls and structures, it houses dance floors, exhibit halls, stores, libraries, workshop classes and stages. Calling itself an artistic and cultural factory, the place is geared towards public service — Art as a public service is definitely a great concept!

On any given day a buzz of artists, dancers, yogis, actors, painters, sculptors, fill the cavernous space with laughter and life. Visitors pop up at the arts library, shoppers stroll through the Emmaus thrifstore. It’s at the same time neighborhoods hang-out for young skaters, and an elite art space for openings and happenings.

Its success is real and tangible. You can witness art in various forms glow right under your eyes, and see how art really is a street expression in its best form. Over 60 percent of the performing artists at the 104 are not French.

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The fall schedule of exhibition is heavy with many new shows coming up: dance performances, visual arts, circus acts, theater and music fests. Solo acts or ensemble pieces, no matter what month you are able to go, several art forms will be on display or happening, including a ball in April open to all. About 50 artists in residence are planned to offer their creations for the 2015-2016 season.

An official opening was held Sept. 26 to present the 25,000 square feet of available galleries and open spaces to the public for the new season. On Oct. 3, a Nuit Blanche (White Night) is planned, when the space will stay open all night. The calendar is so full of events that it would be impossible to see and hear everything offered to each senses.

Les Pompes-Funèbres : From Death to Life.

Located on the site of a former municipal undertaker, the name comes from the original entrance’s address, at 104 rue d’Aubervilliers. This was not the mom and pop funeral home where one would visit one deceased family member in a flower-filled room and weep. This was where hundreds of horse-drawn hearses used to park and be maintained. Now an artistic factory, it churns out events and gatherings at a vertiginous speed.

The buildings were erected in 1873 by the diocese, ruled by religious staff; later on, with the separation of state and church, the city created in 1905 the Service municipal des pompes funèbres (Municipal Service of Funeral Process), considered at the times as a liberal progress, as it meant that from then on, regardless of religion or condition, everyone was due a proper funeral.

Before that, divorced women, suicide victims, atheists, all were to be buried at night without any dignified ceremony or family members present. The municipal monopole was taking care of everything, from coffins to hearses, from porters to cemeteries. One of the important rituals after a death was to wrap the front door of the building where the deceased laid with massive black curtains on each side of the front door – those were called the pompes.

This black veil was used until the 1980s. The Municipal Monopole was still in practice until the middle of 1997. Since then, the ceremonial is now left to family and private companies.

2015-09-27-1443379187-2043800-104hearse.jpg

At the Pompes Funèbres, 27,000 hearses were in use, with a staff of 1,400, only forty of which were women. Carpenters, wood workers, steel workers, mechanics, auto body specialists, seamstresses, cooks for the on-site workers’ cafeteria. Civil servants, horse caterers and other employees were lodged on the premises. There was even a football team, musicians, and firefighters dedicated to the ensemble of constructions. The funeral parlor did not handle corpses – that was done in private parlors. Except in times of war, when the bodies of soldiers were given back to their families.

Creativity at its Best.

So the place was truly always alive (pun intended) in a way, but for some 15 years when it was closed down, before the re-birth as an art center in 2008. When I last visited at the beginning of September, I saw several artists using the multi-levels center floor as a dance stage and yoga space, kids running around huge sculptures, workers having a sandwich on beach chairs, the feel of community involvement was very tangible.

2015-09-27-1443379310-119530-104weipei.jpg

At each end of the space giant art pieces jetted to the open sky – this is a place that could easily accommodate one of Louise Bourgeois giant spider sculptures. Not every art space can. An enormous funky piece made of hundreds of bicycles wheels and frames in a sculpture by Chinese Al Weiwei named “Stacked” was taking one end of the forum – representing the transportation mode of his native country, while a metal snake of rust-color boxes was being installed for the upcoming vernissage.

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Concerts for all ages and all style are planned for the fall schedule. Several art shows will also open at the various venues encompassed in the buildings. It’s a real artistic community all housed under one roof. A glass roof that is.

The architecture is reminiscent of the former market halles (market halls) that were once famously popular in the center of the capital. Why waste beautiful edifices? The eco friendly turn-around of the classic buildings is a testament of the creativity of its new users, all artists.

Side Shows.

A food truck selling pizzas is permanently parked inside the Centquatre. The Emmaus store resales clothes and furniture pieces at very low prices, and involves members of the community to work there. Canvas beach chairs invite people to lounge at will. Several corners are meant to be used as sitting areas, or even picnic settings.

The café’s menu is full of childhood favorites, such as toasts, soft eggs, fries and milk-shakes. It is named the Café Caché (the Hidden Café). Another resting place for food is the Grand Central restaurant, the loft-like space offering traditional French dishes at a medium range price – think sausage and lentils, beef cheeks, mussels and fries, rabbit with granny smith apples, steak with Béarnaise sauce, etc..

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The CentQuatre had a challenge — to fill the enormous spaces spread on several city blocks, and despite its sheer size, the place works — it is both a community haven and a convivial space for all. Despite being located in an untrendy area of Paris, that has not stopped Parisians of every corner to make the trip for the sake of art. Over half a million visitors/spectators came by last year. Bravo!

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If you go:
Le CentQuatre is at 5 rue Curial, Paris 75019.
Open Tuesday-Friday noon-7 p.m. Weekends 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Closed Monday.
Métro stop: Riquet.
Bus 54 or 60.
http://www.104.fr/english/

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Arts – The Huffington Post
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Is There Anything Spiritual About Mindfulness?

These days mindfulness is the buzzword. Celebrities such as Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere and Tina Turner have been some of it’s strongest proponents. Mindfulness seems to be embraced in the west, more as a practice and discipline rather than as a religion, although its origin is in Buddhism. But does mindfulness have a spiritual and transformational quality to it?

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To explore this, I spoke with Santikaro (Robert Larson), who had trained under the famous Thai Buddhist teacher, Buddhadasa Bhikku. According to him, in the west, there are three forms that mindfulness has been shaped into. He refers to the first usage of it, primarily at large corporations, as McMindfulness. Like MacDonald food, it is fast, convenient and does the job. However, Santikaro questions the ethical and long-term value of this form of mindfulness, particularly when it is encouraged by managers in order to get results from employees. The workers who do practice it under such influence may not get the right long term results from such practices as their understanding of it remains limited.

The second form of mindfulness that is justifiably popular is referred to as therapeutic mindfulness. In recent times, Jon Kabat-Zinn, has championed the efforts to bring a scientifically researched and medically applicable usage to mindfulness. The program called Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) has been proven to bring relief to many people struggling with psychological distress and chronic illnesses.

The third form of mindfulness that we discussed (as seen in the video below), is the pristine form with its potential for complete inner freedom. Practiced correctly, mindfulness can lead to insight into the human condition and free us from our inner struggles and conflicts in life. If there is anything spiritual about mindfulness, then it is the ability to free us from the grasp of our own ego. This is the summon bonum, the lofty goal of most spiritual traditions.

Santikaro describes this form of mindfulness as a natural and effortless practice, not one forced on by an “egoic doer.” For instance, when we bring awareness to our breathing without clinging to the one who is breathing or when we observe the nature around us without the sense of an observer, then there is a moment of true mindfulness, the recognition of what can be called as “emptiness.” In such a practice of mindfulness, the experience of every moment can be deepened by the natural “recollection” of emptiness.

So going back to the question, “Is there anything spiritual about mindfulness?” In the two earlier forms of its practice, the purpose of practicing mindfulness is motivated by certain personal goals.
Nevertheless if it fulfills the criteria of being a tangible measure to spirituality in daily life by offering a superior quality of awareness in every moment, then it is a worthy practice. But to truly experience mindfulness with its fullest potential, one has to transcend the egoic intention and relinquish the “I” and “Mine” related to the experience, as these are the obstacles on our path to freedom.

Santikaro talks about the time that he asked Buddhadasa, his teacher, if he was enlightened. Buddhadasa replied to him, “who is there to be enlightened.” Perhaps in this response is the key to the right attitude towards this potentially liberating practice.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

I’ve Cycled Through There

I’ve Cycled Through There


That strangest of traveller, the lone female, is at it again. This time cycling through the heart of England from Bath to London to her home in Lancashire. For such a small country England was proving to be a land of contrasts and surprises; from the leafy lanes of Berkshire to the bleak moorlands of the north, spectacular scenery and post-industrial mill towns, dead divas and murderous mad men. Throughout the six hundred mile cycle ride there was much that was quintessentially English: Georgian architecture and thatched cottages, William Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson, Bath buns and Yorkshire pudding, canals and Roman roads, Magna Carta and the Houses of Parliament, oh, and Maharajah’s Wells and teams of huskies! Share the experience, the food, the fun and the frustrations. Funny and factual by turns, this is a true account of a cycle journey home through the heart of England.

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Prepare For a Literary Shopping Spree: There Are So Many Great Books By Women Coming This Fall

We know we've been loading up your reading list lately—you've got a lot to get through by the end of summer, not to mention your twenties (click here to see the books every woman should…


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The 6 Best Waterproof Mascara Topcoats Out There

We all have our favorite mascara. But what about when you want to wear your favorite mascara–only it’s really hot and humid outside and you think you might cry later? Why, use a mascara topcoat, of course! Yes, they’re really a thing. Yes, they really make your mascara waterproof. And yes, they’re kind of awesome.
The latest from allure.com
Sure, you could wear the same basic ponytail you do all year long. Or you could try one of these souped-up styles, courtesy of a few of our favorite celebrities.
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MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Lambert: There was no coming out blueprint

Adam Lambert wishes he had been given “more guidance” before he publicly came out as gay in 2009.
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There Are More Than 100 New Brands at Forever 21: Are You Missing Out?

Get ready to shop Forever 21 in a whole new way. You may know about the retail empire’s in-house lines—like separates-driven Love 21 and plus size-friendly Forever 21+—but did you know that the store also sells other non-Forever 21 brands exclusively on its website? Check out what we found in Forever 21’s Branded Shop.

forever21

Blessed Are the Meek Open-Knit Midi Dress, $ 180, forever21.com

According to a brand spokesperson, the Forever 21 shop-in-shop experience launched in November 2014 (quietly, we might add) with approximately 20 non-Forever 21 labels. To date, there are currently more than 100—and more to follow. They range from more well-known names such as Dolce Vita, Ban.do, and Happy Socks, to up-and-coming brands like Amber Sceats, Rise of Dawn, and Clashist.

While Forever 21 isn’t the first brand to make retail partnerships work—J.Crew’s In Good Company collective started back in 2007 and Target launched a limited partnership with brands called The Shops at Target in 2012—it is interesting to see the company diversify its offerings past what we’ve known for almost 20 years.

Shop our picks from the Branded Shop below then let us know: Are you excited for Forever 21’s new direction?





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Christian Siriano Is Lane Bryant’s Newest Guest Designer: But Will There Be Ball Gowns?

christian-siriano
Christian Siriano

With the recent runaway success of its I’m No Angel campaign, Lane Bryant has the fashion industry buzzing. And the plus-size retailer is hoping to keep that momentum going through next year, with today’s announcement that Christian Siriano will become its newest guest designer.

The Project Runway alum, known for his curve-hugging red carpet gowns, will launch a capsule collection for the specialty retailer, which will bow in spring 2016. Siriano joins the ranks of Bryant’s former designer collaborators such as Isabel Toledo, Sophie Theallet, and Lela Rose.

christian-siriano-on-red-carpet Stars in Christian Siriano: Juliette Lewis, Christina Hendricks, Heidi Klum.

“Fashion should never be defined by size,” Siriano said in a statement about the collection, which will range in size from 14 to 28. “Regardless if it’s for red carpet or a day at the office, every woman should feel stylish and comfortable in their clothes. I’m excited about this partnership with Lane Bryant because it allows me the opportunity to showcase my designs on the everyday woman and allow them the opportunity to feel as beautiful and fashionable as possible.”

Watch this space to see photos of the collection when it launches!





Dressed
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Eating Guinness Cake, our travel stories in Ireland, let us guide you there!

Eating Guinness Cake, our travel stories in Ireland, let us guide you there!


Eating Guinness Cake. This is our personal guide to Ireland. Bill Giles was born and brought up in Ireland and now lives there for part of the year with his wife Sarah. As it is one of our travel guides, the book combines Ireland’s famous places with our personal experiences. Our book explains the history, people and customs of Ireland not forgetting the food and drink. We look at all the main tourist sights in Ireland, and we cover both the Republic and Northern Ireland. We felt it was important to cover the province of Ulster because many important events in Irish history happened in this area. There is also very little available as a guide for Ulster because of the recent political troubles. For you to enjoy the magic of Ireland you need to plan where you are going, so that when you get there you will gain most enjoyment in slowing down to Ireland’s relaxed pace of life. The best things in our opinion are the views, the people, the pubs and the food. This travel guide will help you make the informed decisions which will give you the trip of a lifetime. As with all of our travel guides we are writing about a place we know well and spend a lot of time in. We combine Ireland’s famous places with our personal anecdotes so you can learn about Ireland in an easily accessible way. Contents, Introduction Chapter 1 The Irish Chapter 2 Getting there Chapter 3 The North Belfast County Down County Armagh County Antrim County Fermanagh County Tyrone County Londonderry Chapter 4 County Donegal and the West. Donegal Town Ardara The Gaeltacht Sligo and the way South. Achill Island Croagh Patrick Knock County Mayo Connemara Galway County Clare Chapter 5 The South County Kerry Cork The Blarney Stone Kinsale Waterford Dublin area Powerscourt Castle and gardens Chapter 6 Dublin Chapter 7 The Pubs and Holidays Chapter 8 The food Chapter 9 Buying a house in Donegal Conclusion Ireland Key Facts A brief history of Ireland

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B.B. King coroner: There is no sign of murder

Following allegations from two of the daughters of B.B. King, the Las Vegas coroner has confirmed said that preliminary evidence showed
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Paul McCartney And Dave Grohl Performed Beatles’ Classic ‘I Saw Her Standing There’

What would it sound like if the Beatles reached nirvana? Probably a lot like Dave Grohl performing a Beatles song with Paul McCartney.

During McCartney’s show at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, the former Nirvana drummer joined the former Beatle for a performance of “I Saw Her Standing There,” from the Beatles’ debut album, “Please Please Me.” This isn’t the first time McCartney and Grohl have performed the song, though. The two previously played the Beatles’ classic at the 2009 Grammy Awards, with Grohl on the drums.

McCartney and Grohl also previously worked together on “Cut Me Some Slack” from the soundtrack to Grohl’s documentary “Sound City.” The track, which they worked on with Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, earned them the Best Rock Song award at the 56th annual Grammys.

Saturday night’s London show also came with another big surprise. McCartney played “Temporary Secretary” from his album “McCartney II,” which Rolling Stone has called one of “the 12 weirdest Paul McCartney songs.” It was McCartney’s first live performance of the song since its release in 1980.

McCartney is playing a second show at the O2 Arena again on Sunday, so more surprises are likely in store.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Finding the Answer That’s Been There All Along: How to Discover the Direction With Wings

True desire is where everything begins.

I have a story to share with you about decorating my living room that isn’t really about decorating my living room. It’s about a miracle. It’s about getting unstuck. It’s about your career, your marriage, your weight, or maybe your living room.

I had been looking at my living room for months, feeling meh on the high end of the spectrum, and I am suffering a small plague on the other. Hoping for creative ideas, I started looking at houses online, even homes in other states. It felt a little bit like scoping out Match.com while your husband gropes through the refrigerator, commenting on how you could arrange the shelves differently. Romantic walks on beaches. I’d be checking out the dimensions of that living room, then noticing my own. I quickly learned, that every living room looks great with 900-foot ceilings or wall to wall windows and an ocean view. I have neither.

Paul, my partner, started dreaming about ripping up the ceiling and creating a loft above. Awesome, but way beyond what my overwhelmed mind and bank account had in mind. Realizing that really remodeling was just creating stress, Paul offered magic words: “What if there’s just one simple thing you can do, just to change the energy? What if there’s one thing that starts moving us in the right direction?” So I started looking around and imagining a new shade of paint, couch, or an unusual light fixture. But nothing clicked.

I felt tangled and impatient, a bad combination for courting revelations. Maybe you’ve felt this, with more important life decisions: I wanted change, but I didn’t want to put time into it. I wanted change, but I didn’t want to put money into it. I wanted change, but I didn’t even know what I really wanted to do. Pity our psychotherapists and God.

So I returned to my original desire. I want this room to feel great to me. That’s all I knew. “Don’t think about this room,” Paul suggested. “Just think about what would feel like what you want.”

I started thinking about what did feel great. I have a back room, an extension to our home built back in the 1920s. I love its energy. It’s got a quirky, formidable, black wood burning stove on its own little brick platform. But the best part of that room is an entire wall of exposed brick, uneven texture and happiness, worn solidity and a poetic karma you can’t find in new construction. I fell in love with that room years ago, winking its old house charm at me. It’s why I bought the house.

“I’d love something like that, an exposed brick wall,” I said to Paul, as though he could magically order one up out of a Home Beautiful catalog and have it shipped or maybe blink his eyes like a cartoon genie. It was preposterous. True desires often are.

But you know how when you start to focus on something you want, you start to notice all the reasons you want it? I began to notice movie scenes with people who had cool lives and living rooms. They often had exposed brick walls. Naturally this meant they had superior conversations, cheese, sex, iPads and income levels. It was just subliminal shorthand.

One day, standing in the living room, I was again talking to Paul about painting walls. Paul looked like he wasn’t listening (which by the way would never happen to people who lived in cool living rooms). He was staring at the fireplace in the living room and the large plaster wall (which I’d painted purple, “blueberry yogurt” says a friend) above it. It jutted out from the rest of the blueberry yogurt walls. “You know,” he began. “That wall that juts out is probably plaster over the chimney to the fireplace.” He stared intently. “Mmm,” I said as though he was beginning to explain the periodic tables to me, when, really, I was more interested in end tables.

“Well, if it is the original chimney to the house, then it’s probably brick.” I still didn’t follow his thinking yet, because, there is the small possibility that I was too busy judging him. So he spelled it out. “If we break off that plaster wall, you might have an exposed brick wall.”

Could it be? I was afraid to get my hopes up. But even the thought of the possibility was a rush. We decided to try our theory. We have a large wooden Buddha face from a Thai temple who hangs on the wall above the fireplace. We decided to poke a tiny hole in the plaster wall, figuring that even if we were wrong, Buddha could hide the emptiness and imperfection. It seemed appropriate.

Paul chipped away a hole, kind of like a baby bird pecking through a shell. Sure enough, there was a tiny hint of red brick, a rustic ruby, peeking back at us from the hole. It was like a bindi, the holy red dot on an Indian woman’s forehead, and to me, it was every bit as devotional. I gasped. My crazy, improbable desire might actually come true.

The next day, after an all-day meeting, I came home to find Paul covered in the white dust of plaster. He looked like a crazed baker. He smiled at me as I beheld his “cake.” We had an exposed brick wall above the fireplace. Worn out brick. Textured brick. Brick that changed the whole vibe of the living room, even more than I imagined. I couldn’t believe it. Who needed a fantasy genie or a stinking catalog? Real life was the real miracle.

The answer had been there all along. It had always been there. I’ve lived in this house for 17 years. It’s always been there. This house is over 100 years old. Really, it’s always been there. But I never would have discovered it if I kept looking at the room I thought was there. In A Course in Miracles, there is the teaching that a miracle is about “undoing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.” In English, that means a miracle, the presence of a loving perspective or resolution, is always present. But you have a belief in the way. You have an assumption in the way. You have a way of seeing in the way. I had a thick purple plaster wall in the way.

I was trying to decorate the room I believed existed. But it was only when I asked what I really wanted that I found a direction that had wings. It wasn’t about fitting a solution into my existing circumstances. It was about finding an answer or direction that changed my existing circumstances. So, are you ready to design your life? Never mind your current situation. What do you really want?

As a creative career and success coach, I see this repeatedly. I ask someone, “What do you love to do?” They tell me “I have an MBA and I’m in advertising.” Or “I’m a paralegal.” They tell me what they’ve been. What they’re trained for. Their age. They do not tell me about the destiny that is hunting them down. They do not initially admit that they’d like to leave it all and ride an elephant in Thailand. They do not mention the movie script that runs in their veins. Or their instinct to start a foundation.

“What do you love?” I ask. They treat me like I’m pretending to be Santa Claus, despite the fact that I am Jewish as well as serious as chicken soup about this question. I know that their real desire is the only way we will ever find the truth. The truth is there. The truth has energy to take them into the fierce lives in which they belong. Every limit they believe is true, will bow before the real truth within them. There is a truth. There is always a truth.

There is always a brick wall underneath your plaster. There is always the presence of everything you want, covered by the familiar. It’s waiting for you. It’s been there all along. There’s an astonishment beneath your confusion and habitual way of thinking. There is another way to see this situation. Let go of your grip on what you think the situation is. There is always love awaiting you, beyond every single fear.

***

Hey, want to discover more about YOUR true desire? Join me for a FREE coaching call “Your Desire is Your Destiny: How to Get There!” on May 13th (or sign up to get the recording) It’s my gift to you, awesome one. Who else do you know that might enjoy/need this? Please share the mojo because we want to create a world where everyone is doing what they’re meant to do. “See” you there!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Who Goes There

Who Goes There


Nick Griffiths charts his travels through England and Wales tracking down locations used in Doctor Who, both classic and new Being an odd kind of show, Doctor Who’s locations too are odd. This is no glamorous trip. Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, anyone? A flooded china clay pit in Cornwall? As he travels, so Nick Griffiths discovers another side to his well-trodden country, which is no less evocative. Then he goes to the pub. As in his previous memoir Dalek I Loved You, the travel writing is backed up by Nick’s childhood reminiscences and contemporary musings. A companion website offers photographs from the trip, a Google map of the locations, and details of the nearest pub. In this innovative way, readers are invited to follow in his footsteps. Who Goes There isn’t just for Who fans, it’s a very funny book for anyone who fancies a trip off the beaten path.

Price: $
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Could There Be a Girls Movie? See What Lena Dunham Says About It

It looks like Hannah and Co. could be following in the familiar footsteps of another famous HBO femme foursome: Lena Dunham has a future Girls movie in mind, according to a recent profile in Variety….




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Alert: There Are MORE Kardashians You Didn’t Know Existed

When I was scrolling through Khloe and Kim Kardashian's travel diary photos from their big trip to Armenia, I was so distracted by North West's cuteness and Khloe's gorgeous waves that I didn't even notice…




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How To Include Your Pet In Your Wedding Day Even If They Can’t Physically Be There

By Simone Hill for TheKnot.com

There’s no doubt about it, having your pet in your wedding is super cute. But it’s not always practical, especially if your venue won’t allow it, you’re having a destination wedding or if Fido’s security dog instinct won’t mix well in a crowd of guests. Even if your pet can’t attend the wedding, they can still play a special role in your wedding day. From photobooth prop cardboard cutouts to custom pet cufflinks and even desserts in the shape of your pet, see some of our favorite creative ways you can include your pet in your wedding day below.

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Liz Banfield Photography

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Byron Roe Photography

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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God Told David Oyelowo He Would Play Martin Luther King, But He Didn’t Stop There

David Oyelowo hasn’t been shy about discussing how God spoke to him in 2007 and said the actor would eventually play Martin Luther King Jr. in what would become “Selma.”

“The reason I’m talking about that is because I’m as shocked as anyone else may be that this British guy is playing Martin Luther King,” Oyelowo, who was born in England, said during a recent interview. “Certainly back then, in 2007, I had done none of the movies people have now seen me do now.”

At the time, Oyelowo — who has since starred in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Jack Reacher,” “The Help” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” — was a relative unknown. But it was another obstacle separating him from King that proved more difficult to overcome: Stephen Frears. Back then, the director was attached to “Selma” and didn’t think Oyelowo was right for the part. In the ensuing seven years, however, Frears left and multiple directors nearly stepped into his place (including Spike Lee and Paul Haggis). In 2010, Lee Daniels came onboard and, after working with Oyelowo on”Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” cast the actor as King. The tumultuous development process didn’t end there: Daniels dropped out because of scheduling conflicts. That’s when Oyelowo suggested another former collaborator: Ava DuVernay, with whom Oyelowo had made the 2012 indie film “Middle of Nowhere.”

“There was so much faith that had to be employed that this thing was going to happen,” Oyelowo said. “Virtually every day between that moment [when God spoke] to me and now, I did everything I could to make this thing happen.”

Now that it has, Oyelowo has received the best reviews of his career for playing King. The performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, and it has Oyelowo in the middle of a crowded group of contenders vying for an Oscar nomination. “Selma,” meanwhile, stands as one of the year’s best films, a timely and insightful drama that says as much about Martin Luther King’s struggle to get equal voting rights in 1965 as it does about the Millions March in 2014.

Oyelowo spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about “Selma,” working with DuVernay and what it was like to meet King’s children.

You’ve talked about hearing a higher calling to play this role all the way back in 2007. Does that kind of connection with God extend through the production as well?
What I couldn’t have anticipated is how much I needed, to be perfectly frank, God’s help in the playing of it. Not least because this was a man of God. This was someone, if you’ve seen him giving those speeches, there is something flowing through him other than himself. He is flowing in his anointing. I needed that. I like to think of myself as a good actor, but Martin Luther King, I ain’t! If you’re going to go and shoot in Atlanta, in a historical church, with 500 people who are from Atlanta, you need a little help from above. So I definitely felt I had that.

Watch Oyelowo in an exclusive clip from “Selma”



During that seven year period from when you first read the script and now, was playing Dr. King something you thought about every day, or is that impossible?
The first thing I can say to you is that it’s very possible to think about playing Martin Luther King every single day for seven years. I’m living evidence of that. There is never going to be a time in your life as an actor where you’re going to go, “Oh yeah, I’m ready to play Dr. King now.” But between doing the work in quiet and then, the films that presented themselves to me, I prepared. Playing a Union solider in “Lincoln,” playing a preacher in “The Help,” playing a black fighter pilot in “Red Tails,” playing the son of a butler in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” who is in the Freedom Riders and becomes a Black Panther: these were all films in which I had to go study the history. Inevitably they were part of what informed playing Dr. King. Now, were they opportunities that were divinely presented to me or was I just continually drawn to that material because of what was going on in my head? That I can’t really say. But I do know that so many different aspects of my life went into what you see in the film. Plus, I was now the age Dr. King was when these things happened in his life. When I first read the script, I had two kids; when we shot it, I had four kids, like he did. There were so many things I matured into by the time I played the role.

Dr. King is, relatively speaking, a young man during the events of “Selma,” but he looks 10-15 years older than his actual age. How did you manage the physical transformation this role required?
Again, we’re back to the spiritual side of things. People like to talk about the weight gain and the voice, but that’s what we do as actors; that’s the first rung of what you need to do if you’re going to play someone like this. But it was the emotional and spiritual weight of what this man did and had to go through that was tough. At that stage in his life, to have spent 10 years under threat — and not only his life, but his kids’ lives, his wife’s life. Having all these people depend on him. Being a voice for the voiceless. Being someone who has seen people die because of this cause. And not just because racist people have killed them, but because he went to places where he tried to have racists act out in front of the cameras, and then people get hurt. In Selma, people died. That weighs on you. If you’re mentally placing yourself in that space, it does something to you physically. When I watch him, you can see there is a burden. You can see that he looks and feels older than he was. He was 36 at this stage. That is crazy. That had to be one of the things I tried to bring to it.

You recommended Ava to direct this film. Having worked with her on “Middle of Nowhere,” what surprised you about her transition to this kind of bigger material?
When we worked together on “Middle Of Nowhere” I saw her talent is undeniable. One of the privileges I’ve had in doing some of those films I mentioned is working with Steven Spielberg and other incredible directors. I was on the set with Ava, and she is just as good. I think the unique thing about her — and what she brought to “Selma” that was so incredible — was the ease with which she went into a film that was 100 times the budget of the last thing she had done. There were so many more people, so many more elements, it was much bigger in size, but she never panicked. She never shouted. She never threw a chair. She never compromised her vision. That went through the post-production side of things as well. To be a visionary, you have to be single minded. She has that without being, to be perfectly honest, an unpleasant person. That’s very rare! Often being single-minded is combined with being a bit of a nightmare to be around. She’s just not that.

It’s impossible to discuss “Selma” without mentioning how timely it is in its scenes of protest and police brutality. How do you think “Selma” fits in with the events that have occurred over the last month?
Well, we’re back to the divide, aren’t we? If you were ever going to have a moment in time when this film should come out in the 50 years since these events happened, it would be now. Not only would it be now, it would be now now. It would be this month. We would be having this conversation today. You can’t tell me between everything we’ve discussed already to when the film is being released to the fact that it’s a black woman who has made this — just in terms of where we are in history and how beautiful a thing that is — that it’s not divine timing. Whether you believe in that stuff or not, I truly believe the reason why this film is so pertinent for right now is that it shows this isn’t the first time. It shows that we are not a new generation for this and also how it was successfully dealt with. Peaceful protest. Strategy. Using the power of the image to bring the world together. That’s what happened in a sense.

Ferguson, I feel, was deemed a “black problem.” Eric Garner became an American problem. That’s the power of the image. Seeing him murdered onscreen has been the thing that has brought America and the world together to protest. Seeing Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge is what brought the nation together, black and white, in 1965. The difference is that was about voting rights, and this is about police reform. There had to be federal intervention with voting rights; the federal government is stalling on intervening on this, to bring in independent bodies to police the police. It’s just clear that’s what is needed. No matter what they say about how difficult that is because it’s states’ rights. It was states’ rights with voting. It’s crazy how similar it is.

david oyelowo
“Selma” cast wears “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts to protest the death of Eric Garner at the New York Public Library on Dec. 14, 2014

Did you get to meet anyone close to Dr. King in preparation for the role?
I met every one of his children and spoke with them. I actually became quite friendly with Dexter Scott King, his second son. I met Martin Luther King III. I actually didn’t meet Bernice King until the Friday before we were going to start shooting. I bumped into her at the King Center, if you would believe it — again, the divine! I was with a group of the actors who were going to be in the film, and she went up to everyone, deliberately leaving me to last. “So, who you playing?” she said. I was like, “Oh. My. Lord.” Dr. King’s voice is pretty deep, but I was like, in a high-pitched voice, “I’m going to be playing your daddy.” It was as bad as it could be. But by the time we finished our conversation, she ended up praying with me and giving me her blessing to play her dad. She and her elder brother saw the film recently and were very complimentary about it. She said mine is the best interpretation of her dad she’s seen. I will take it.

After seven years of having this role in your life, did you feel any letdown or hangover after you moved on to the next job?
There was no letdown. I was very happy to let this guy go. I wouldn’t say it was a burden, because I felt so privileged to do it, but there were moments where it was a real crossover. I stayed in character for the three months we were doing this. I, for one second, wouldn’t say I was him for that time, but I felt a little bit of what it may have been like. Just because you have to take it on. He lived through 13 years of that. I was very happy to walk away. I tell you that much.

This interview has been edited and condensed.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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See the Epic Way Taylor Swift Celebrated Her 25th Birthday (Hint: Everyone was There!)

We've been celebrating Taylor Swift's birth year for some time now with 1989—but her actual 25th birthday party (the singer's birthday is December 13) reached even higher levels of amazingness than her platinum-selling pop album….




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There Are Serious Deals On Home Goods At Kohl’s This Black Friday

The store: Kohl’s

The time: Kohl’s is one of the stores starting its Black Friday sales early, both in stores and online. Sales begin at 6 p.m. nationwide in Kohl’s stores on Thanksgiving Day. Online, the deals start on Monday, November 24 through Black Friday at 3 p.m. Central Standard Time.

The standout deals: Kohl’s is offering shoppers:

  • $ 15 in “Kohl’s Cash” for every $ 50 spent from Monday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 30.
  • Customers can sign up for “Yes2You Rewards,” a new program that allows customers to earn one point for every dollar they spend and receive a $ 5 rewards for every 100 points.
  • Select toys will be 50 percent off.
  • A trivia game! Kohl’s will be hosting a “Black Friday Twitter Trivia” event. Starting on November 24 and though Black Friday, the brand will tweet out trivia questions for people with correct answers to be entered to win a $ 500 gift card. Be sure to use hashtags #BlackFriday and #KohlsSweeps.

Click here for Bloomingdales’ Black Friday deals.

Here’s what we love:

Check out other amazing Black Friday deals at:

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Solange Is Married—and Beyonce, Jay Z, and Blue Ivy Were There!

Solange married longtime boyfriend Alan Ferguson today in New Orleans, E! has confirmed. News of their wedding comes five days after Us Weekly confirmed the pair’s engagement. The wedding took place in front of around…




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Was There Really a Need For ‘Dolphin Tale 2’?

Now we have a sequel to the popular film Dolphin Tale. The question is why? The first movie was pretty complete in its story of a dolphin named Winter who had lost her dorsal fin. Her rescuers created a prosthesis for her and she adapted to it beautifully. And she lived happily ever after – end of story. No, no! Not when that movie made a good bit of money and there was surely more loot in that dolphin. So now we have Dolphin Tale 2, the story of Winter when she got depressed over not having a dolphin friend.

All of the cast from the previous movie are back including Ashley Judd, Harry Connick,Jr., Morgan Freeman and Kris Kristofferson. The question is why. They have very little to do in this film. Their characters are basically just there to give support to the two kids who have leading roles. These are Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff who play Sawyer and Hazel.

Sawyer works at the Clearwater Marine Hospital where Winter lives and is cared for. Hazel is the daughter of Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick) who runs the hospital. They are devoted to Winter and become most upset when Winter shows signs of being depressed because she does not have another dolphin to pal around with. They have a solution but it is not one the adults are willing to use.

The storyline is one children should enjoy, and it will entertain the adults that accompany them. It is not high drama but it is sufficiently interesting. Supposedly this plot is also based on a true occurrence and that fact also interest.

The two young actors are very good in their roles and the dolphins play out the roles they have been given. Even the adult actors are fine, though they are given little to do. Judd is appropriately maternal while Connick is a bit stiff as the head operator of the hospital. Freeman gets to play the amiable man who helped fashion Winter’s prostheses.

The film is rated PG for mild drama with the animals.

There probably wasn’t a real need for a sequel to Dolphin Tale. It had told its story pretty completely.

However, since they were determined to make another one they did make it as appealing as possible. Children will once again delight in a story about dolphins being so human-like they need a friend, and will enjoy the fact that good humans are there to provide them with love, care and attention.

I scored Dolphin Tale 2 a sequeled 6 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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There Is Still Time To See Belle, and You Should

There is s till time for you to see Belle in a movie theater. This quietly appreciated film is still holding at several screens across the country. Since its release several weeks ago it has either been in the top ten grossing movies or hovering about it. Still, figures show, there are many, many of you who have not taken the opportunity to see it – and you should.

If you liked Pride and Prejudice you will like Belle. If you liked Twelve Years A Slave you will like Belle. If you like Downton Abbey you will like Belle. If you just like good movies then you are bound to like Belle. This movie is a perfect mix of a good story, an amazing cast, and a spectacular sense of time and place.

At the heart of the film is the performance of Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido Belle. She inhabits this role like a second skin; bringing beauty, wisdom and sensitivity to the part. She is the “star” of the show but she is surrounded by a host of supporting actors who all do their best to present her at her best. Among those lending support are Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Natasha Richardson, Tom Felton and many more.

Based on true events, the movie tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle and it is an amazing one. She is the daughter of a white British naval officer and a slave. When her mother dies her father (Matthew Goode) seeks her out. He arranges for her to live with his uncle and aunt (Wilkinson and Watson) while he is at sea. Her relatives are also rearing another niece, Sarah (Gadon).

Dido is raised as someone of class and distinction thought there are limits that are imposed because of her race. Her uncle is a prestigious judge and so her presence is accepted much more easily than it otherwise would have.

Dido slips easily into her role as the judge’s niece and enjoys most of what life offers her. But as she gets older she begins to see the horrors of slavery and the oppression of women in general. She makes the acquaintance of a man named John (Sam Reid) who is a progressive thinker. He is not of her class level as he is the son of a preacher, a person generally dismissed from high society echelons.

Watching Dido’s life evolve is fascinating, and when you throw in a tumultuous romance it is a must see. From the first second of the film till its last, this is a movie that will transport you to the mid 1700’s and hold you in awe of its look and its message.

The movie is rated PG for adult situations.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a star on the rise. This movie should put her name and her face on the Hollywood map. It completely showcases her talent and she rises to every challenge the film offers.

If you have not yet seen Belle don’t delay another day. It is one of the best movies of the year and you don’t want to let it slip by unseen.

I scored Belle a ringing 9 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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There May Be Such a Thing as ‘Too Much Exercise’

Research suggests that moderate activity might be best for people with pre-existing heart disease
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Is There Male Menopause? (F.Y.I.)

Is There Male Menopause? (F.Y.I.)


Are you ever too old to learn? Not if it’s interesting stuff. Is There Male Menopause? provides answers to another batch of questions you never thought to ask: Is sex painful for porcupines? Why won’t men ask for directions? Wouldn’t the Gerber baby be a grandparent by now? Do woodpeckers get headaches? Did princesses ever wear glass slippers? Is youth wasted on the young? Was Wyatt Earp married to a hooker? Where is Oz?
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Are You There, Vodka It’s Me, Chelsea Book: 9781416596363

Are You There, Vodka It’s Me, Chelsea Book: 9781416596363


When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power-vodka. Seems reasonable, when considering that she discovered her boyfriend was having an affair with a Peekapoo and she had to pretend to be honeymooning with her father in order to upgrade to first class. W
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Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?


Are We There Yet?: Virtual Travel and Victorian Realism connects the Victorian fascination with “virtual travel” with the rise of realism in 19th-century fiction and 21st-century experiments in virtual reality. Even as the expansion of river and railway networks in the 19th century made travel easier than ever before, staying at home and fantasizing about travel turned into a favorite pastime. New ways of representing place—360-degree panoramas, foldout river maps, exhaustive railway guides—offered themselves as substitutes for actual travel. Thinking of these representations as a form of “virtual travel” reveals a surprising continuity between the Victorian fascination with imaginative dislocation and 21st-century efforts to use digital technology to expand the physical boundaries of the self.

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Public Art: Here, There, Everywhere

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It’s not that often that we Angelinos park our cars and just walk. Several weeks ago, I found myself strolling through Downtown LA rediscovering, to my delight, a treasure trove of public art, which I talked about in a recent program. The audience response was surprisingly enthusiastic.

Glorya wrote, “Loved them all, and have never seen any of them… So many of us are always in a hurry and really do not take the time. Terrible shame.” Ann said, “…this city really IS such a great adventure.” And Yassmin sent me a note saying, “I will be taking a tour of Citigroup Center very soon. I had no idea this wonderful art was in my backyard!” Inspired by these responses, I decided to spend more time driving and walking through the nooks and crannies of LA in search of art in public spaces.

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Visiting the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena always puts me in a particularly good mood. Some of the most famous bronze sculptures by Rodin greet visitors at the museum’s entrance, including his The Burghers of Calais and Monument to Balzac. These sculptures are installed to maximum effect amidst the beautifully designed landscape. It’s interesting that another cast of Rodin’s Balzac can be seen at LACMA’s campus, though there, it is shown to a much lesser effect, being overwhelmed by nearby Chris Burden’s massive Urban Light.

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I wonder how many of you have ever walked in front of Pasadena’s City Hall. The last time I did it was 15 years ago, when the new, gigantic sculptural portraits of Jackie Robinson and his brother Mack were unveiled there as a part of the Pasadena Robinson Memorial, a collaboration of three artists: Ralph Helmick, John Outterbridge, and Stuart Schechter. Somehow, I forgot how monumental these portraits are. Each of them is nine feet high and weighs 2,700 pounds. It is no surprise that people are constantly snapping photos of themselves in front of these formidable sculptures.

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Not far away, in walking distance from Pacific Asia Museum, I literally stumbled upon the impressive life-size bronze sculpture of Christ being nailed to the cross. One wouldn’t be surprised to see such work standing proudly in front or inside of a church. But here, on the pavement in front of a modest-looking building, the crucifix is placed almost flat on the ground. Christ is held and pressed down by two figures, one of them poised to strike the final nail into Jesus’ hand. I looked around for a nameplate to identify the sculptor, but could not find it. After a little bit of research, I found out that the sculpture was commissioned by Fuller Theological Seminary and created by LA-based artist, Christopher Slatoff. So, I not only found an interesting public artwork, but also learned about Fuller Theological Seminary, with its beautifully landscaped campus.

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Driving through Downtown LA along Main Street, I saw a rather dramatic mural of a single, moody cartoon-like figure decorating the wall of a rather nondescript commercial building. It was impressive enough to make me stop and get out of my car to snap some photos. Acclaimed Brazilian artist Claudio Ethos was commissioned a couple of years ago to make this 60 by 80 foot mural, which took him five days to complete – using spray cans, a few rollers, and only two colors.

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Then, later in the evening, driving along Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, I was struck by two sculptures – installed and lit to the maximum effect. In the daytime, it is easy to miss them, but at night they really shine. One of them is a figure of a sitting man, whose translucent body looks as if it’s made from metal lace. This is a sculpture by internationally known Catalan artist, Jaume Plensa.

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A few steps away, there is a large, playful painted sculpture of twisting, dancing, and morphing flowers by Japanese artist extraordinaire, Yayoi Kusama, who is alive and kicking at the ripe young age of 84.

Edward Goldman is an art critic and the host of Art Talk, a program on art and culture for NPR affiliate KCRW 89.9 FM. To listen to the complete show and hear Edward’s charming Russian accent, click here.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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